Can the new cable link to Andaman change the future of the island? We have a look
Last month, we woke up to an interesting (long pending) announcement by the Union Cabinet. Our Andaman was going to be linked by an underwater cable line from Chennai! “Lack of bandwidth and telecom connectivity is hampering socio-economic development of the islands. Hence, it is essential to have submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connectivity between the mainland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands…,” an official release said. As much as we are a part of India in every way, this connection certainly takes things up a notch. The release also stated “The connectivity would allow the implementation of e-governance initiatives; establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities in the islands. It would also allow for “support to educational institutes for knowledge-sharing and availability of job opportunities” . The island, as you can expect with any remote location, has been plagued with network and connectivity woes ever since we can remember. The tech growth curve has been more steep for the islands in general. Some believe that this was actually good. A lot of tourists want to come to the island to “unplug” and the lack of connectivity in the remote corners makes it perfect in getting rid of any temptation you may have to compulsively respond to Whatsapp messages that keep beeping throught the day. For the locals, on the other hand, more up time and connectivity will mean a better access to the tourism business. Even a simple change in response time can push a business ahead by several thousand rupees. Will the island lose some of its old world charm when the cables actually start functioning? We think that’s quite possible. Commercialization of any tourist location can mean it won’t remain as ‘innocent’ as it was 10 years ago. But, we also realize that this is necessary to not only make Andamans more accessible but to also open it up to world tourists as one of the top beach destinations in the world. Taking a leaf from how Singapore changed its outlook towards toursim, the country as a whole is geared to making the whole tourism experience highly enjoyable and tech plays a huge role in making this possible. With hula, local cuisine and cultural activities, Hawaii has among the highest recall in beach tourist destinations. All of this has been possible because of locals gaining better opportunities with technological connectivity. We would love to welcome the advances in technology with open arms here in Andaman but with the promise to preserve Andaman’s old world charm too. After all, being connected with the past makes us ready for a better future. Want to know more about which networks are widely available and used in Andaman? Connect with us.